WOLF CHILDREN おおかみこどもの雨と雪 [Film Review]
Probably the cutest film you will watch, ever.
Hana meets a mysterious man, and falls in love with him. He reveals his secret to her, and they live a happy existence with their two children. One day, the man does not return, and Hana must raise her children herself.
I got a chance to see this film on the big screen, ZOMG.
The Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema opened with a film that touched on its roots- an animated feature from Japan, Wolf Children. This highly-anticipated film from the director Mamoru Hosoda (Summer Wars, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) is a simple tale of a woman, and later, a mother, and her children, and how she adapts to changes around her.
Hana is a college student, and one day, she meets a mysterious classmate time. With time, he reveals that he is actually a Wolf Man, a person with the ability to transform between the two forms of human and wolf at will. They soon move in together, and they have two children; a girl named Yuki (“snow”), and her younger brother, Ame (“rain”). Hana stays home to give birth out of fear that the children will be born wolves. Childcare workers knock on the door constantly, and the dilemmas that Hana has to go through can be seen when she is torn between taking a sick Yuki to a doctor or an animal hospital. Through a twist of fate, the wolf man dies while hunting for food, and Hana is left to raise the children herself. Not only faced with the social implications of being a single mother, she must face the realities of food, work, and raising Ame and Yuki.
In a sense, Wolf Children is more about Hana and her struggles to raise her children in the “right” way, and her growth as a person. In anime, it is more often than not that the parents are absent in a story, and it is even odder that a story centers on a mother figure. The film is beautifully animated, from the warmly-lit small apartment to the wilderness that surrounds the farming community that Hana moves to. There is a strong sense of the desire to return to nature, but as Ame and Yuki show, humans and nature co-exist in different ways, as shown by their personal choices on how to grow up at the end of film. Touching, cute, and funny could all be ways to describe the film Wolf Children, and more importantly, memorable. This is an incredibly well-told story of fantasy, and a brilliant demonstration of the capabilities of the director Mamoru Hosoda.